Thursday, March 18, 2010

NFL Tebow: Pro Day Reactions

There is one over-arching analysis of Tim Tebow's Pro Day: All he had to do was show improvement from the Senior Bowl, and he did.


Those were the terms of engagement -- of expectations -- and they were set not by Tebow or his team, but by the NFL draftniks who drilled him during and after the Senior Bowl.

Ironically, it was that group that created expectations so low that ANY improvement would be considered tremendous improvement.

And it allows the storyline to progress like this: If this is how much he improved after a month, how much better can he get after 3 months, 9 months, a year -- even two years?

You can see the benefit of these low initial expectations -- and new momentum for Tebow's draft potential -- in the comments coming out of the Pro Day event. A sampling:

"From the Senior Bowl to now, the improvement is ridiculous. I was blown away. ... What he's done in six weeks with that delivery and his footwork is a testament to his coaches and the fact he's willing to work so hard." (NFL Network draft guru Mike Mayock)

"I think he’s more compact and he looks more comfortable in his sets. Everything’s just tighter and more compact. I think it was a good first step. He still has a long way to go, and none of it is battle-tested in game experience, but I think if you’re a team seriously considering drafting him, today was positive in that you saw he accepted he has to work on certain areas, he’s been working on them, and he’s making strides." (Todd McShay, to the Palm Beach Post)

"He had a very good workout. I saw some adjustments he made and thought he executed very well." (Panthers coach John Fox)

"I know he's been working at it, and if anybody can do it, it would be him. He certainly has a will to prepare. People say there's always exceptions to the rule. If there's going to be one at the quarterback spot, it will be him." (Jaguars GM Gene Smith)

"You can tell he's trying to make adjustments to his motion. That seems to be what people are fired up about, and he's working very hard to do that, and it showed today. I thought he had a pretty good workout." (Browns president Mike Holmgren)

"I don't think it's dramatic. I'd say there are subtle differences and those of who know the position a little bit and have coached the position a little bit saw it." (Holmgren)

"He came out, did what he had to do. He's a talented guy, he's a popular guy, he's a sharp guy, he's a smart guy, he's had success all his career and I'm sure nothing will be different when he goes to the next level." (Bucs coach Raheem Morris)

"He didn't revert to any of his old habits today; he really had a nice day. ... He's a quarterback. He's where he should be right now." (Tebow tutor Zeke Bratkowski)

I'll leave the last word to Tebow, who affirms my theory at the top:

"I think that’s the great thing about work ethic is when you want to change something, if you work on it enough it will change. … I wanted to prove that I’ve gotten better and that's all I’ve really been thinking about."

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